Frequenly Asked Questions
A creditor may initiate this process against a military member by submitting an Involuntary Allotment Application (DD Form 2653) along with a certified copy of a final judgment issued by a civil court. We must be served with an original and two copies of the form and the judgment. The application must contain the member's full name and social security number. The creditor should mail the completed package to the following address:
Defense Finance and Accounting Service
Attention: Code HGA
PO Box 998002
Cleveland Ohio 44199-8002
Please include a return address on all correspondence, not just the mailing envelope.
Normally, 90 to 120 days after we receive the application. The regulation that establishes the application processing procedures DFAS follows requires mandatory time allowances for the military member to respond, prior to an involuntary allotment being started. However, if the member responds quickly and does not contest the allotment, this time could be shorter.
3 How much of the member's pay can an applicant receive each month? What if there are other allotments in place?The amount is 25 percent of the individual's disposable pay. The Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. 1673, establishes the maximum amount that may be withheld from individual's pay for garnishments or other legal process to satisfy commercial debts. Disposable pay is the gross pay minus certain authorized deductions such as income tax withholding or debts owed to the government. If the member already has other involuntary allotments in place, applicants will have to re-apply when that debt is satisfied. Also, if deductions are being made to satisfy child or spousal support obligations, it is possible there will be no funds available to satisfy commercial debts for many years to come. In this case, we will notify creditors of the status.
4 What is the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act (SCRA)? How does it affect an application for involuntary allotment?The SCRA is a federal law designed to protect the legal rights of those who serve their country in the military; it applies at all times, not limited to time at war. There are many provisions in the SCRA. Most of them allow a service member to delay certain legal actions if his military service affects his ability to participate in the proceeding.
There are also provisions that affect a member's financial transactions, such as allowing for lowered interest rates on loans while a member is serving on active duty. However, the portion that is relevant to military commercial debt allotments is 50 U.S.C. App. Sec 520. This section basically says that in any proceeding where the defendant has failed to appear, prior to any default judgment being issued, the plaintiff must file an affidavit with the court. The affidavit must state whether or not the defendant is in the military service, or that, after a reasonable effort, the plaintiff is unable to determine whether the defendant is in the military service.
If the creditor submits a copy of the affidavit that was filed with the court prior to the date of the judgment, we will approve the application initially and send it to the member. Not following this mandatory procedure does not make the judgment void, nor does it necessarily mean that we will not be able to honor the application. It does make the judgment voidable at the court's option upon a proper showing of certain proof by the defendant. However, to use the military involuntary allotment process, a creditor must comply with the statute.
Pursuant to the implementing regulation, we must ensure that the procedural provisions of the SCRA have been complied with prior to starting an involuntary allotment for commercial debt against a military member. Therefore, we would not be able to start an involuntary allotment based on a judgment that does not comply with the SCRA. Also, because the SCRA states that these procedures must be followed prior to a default judgment being issued, there is no way for a creditor to go back and remedy any deficiency aside from vacating the judgment and starting the process again to comply with the SCRA after the fact.